Egypt is the world’s oldest civilization. It is the gift of the Nile while its second largest city Alexandria is the gift of the Mediterranean. Egypt is considered by early Greek and Romans to be one of the oldest vacation spots.
All believing Muslims Jews and Christians believe that Pharaoh was the name of the Egyptian king during the time of Moses and he died drowned in the Red Sea when he and his men were chasing Moses and his men (Children of Israel) who were fleeing Egypt. Pharaoh was actually the title of ancient Egyptian rulers from 3200 BCE to 332 BCE. Rameses II was the ruler above who was drowned in the red sea and his body was saved later on till now as a mummy. Rameses-II was an intelligent and had great interest in arts and architecture.
The Koran stated that the pharaoh slaughtered the sons of Israel and letting their women live. Moses mother throw him into the Nile river due to her fear from the Pharaohs men to kill her son. Allah promised Moses’s mother not to fear or grieve. Allah would restore him to her and to make him of the apostles.
The Pharaoh’s family picked him up without realizing he might be for them a foe and a grief. Pharaoh’s wife ordered not to kill The baby citing that he is a cheering of the eye to her and would be their son. During that time, Allah supported the heart of Moses mother as a true believer and patient.
Moses’s Mother asked his sister to follow him. she looked after him from afar. Moses, the baby, refused all breast feeders. Later on, his sister advised the Pharaohs family of a caring breast feeder family. Moses accepted his new feeder. His new feeder was his mother. She was happy and Allah promise to her was a fact.
Moses grew up and escaped the city after killing a Coptic man during a fight between the Coptic man and one of the sons of Israel. Moses was in a great sorrow and cited that it was the action of Satan. Moses asked Allah to save him from the unjust people.
Moses went to another city and got married from the daughter of Showib. In his way back with his wife, Allah spoke to Moses to be his messenger to the Pharaohs. Moses asked to have Aaron, his brother to be with him. Allah honored Moses’s request and appointed Aaron as a prophet to help his brother.
Moses and his brother returned back to Egypt and asked the Pharaohs to believe and follow the right way worshiping Allah instead of worshiping the king of Pharaohs. Moses showed the Pharaoh all miracles as a proof that he is the messenger of Allah to them but in vain although many of the Pharaohs men believed in Moses as the messenger of Allah and turned to be a true believers.
Moses took the believers including the sons of Israel to Sinai crossing the Red Sea. Allah paved the sea to have Moses and his followers cross the water after the Moses followers feared from drowning. The Pharaohs followed them but Everyone accompanying Pharaoh was perished by Allah in the red sea.
Location and Geography
Egypt is located in the north eastern of Africa. It lies at the center of all routes that lead to and from Asia, Africa and Europe. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine, on the south by Sudan, and on the west by Libya.
Egypt area is about double the area of England and about 3 times the size of Texas. Egypt is 50 feet below sea level. Cairo is the capital. Alexandria is the second largest city after Cairo and is the largest sea port in Egypt. Other important cities are Giza, Aswan and Sinai. There are 5 oasis located in the desert close to the western borders: Farafrah, Bahriah, Dakhla, Kharijah, and the Siwah oases.
Most of Egypt is subtropical area. The climate is mild in winter and hot in summer. Egypt population is close to 70 million. Cairo is about 20 million and Alexandria is about 5 million.
Egypt depended on the Nile for water supply.The availability abundant water allowed the creation of a society which produced a great civilization.
The Nile River
The Nile River is the longest river in the world. The Nile river flows from south to north and is formed by three major sources: the White Nile, the Blue Nile and the Atbara.
The Nile river has its source in the highlands of the African country of Ethiopia. North of Cairo, the Nile splits into two branches the Rosetta Branch to the west and the Damietta to the east. Lake Nasser is a man-made lake created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The dam was built to regulate the flow of the Nile River.
The Aswan High Dam has caused other changes and is used also to generate electricity. The water surface of the lake has reduced the average temperature in the region.
The proximity of the Desert to the river is a constant reminder of the fragility of the narrow strip of life which survives all the way from Aswan to Cairo. Many of the dwellings and settlements have a very simple existence with few modern amenities.The history of Egypt is totally dominated by the River Nile. At one time nearly all transportation was by boat along the river.
Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East and Africa.Cairo was founded by the Fatimid leader Jawhar Al-Sequilli in 969 AD, by an order from the Fatimid Khalif Al-Mo’iz lideenellah. It was named “the city of the 1000 minarets.
Cairo is Africa’s most populous city and the Arab world’s cultural center. People from all over the world visit Cairo to see the monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt.
Cairo provides its visitors with great cultural destinations which include a vast amount of art galleries, music halls and cultural centers. Tourists can enjoy Khan El Khalili Bazaar while shopping for antiques, rugs, copper and many other oriental gifts
Cairo is the city where past and present meet. On its west side lays the Ancient Egyptian city of Memphis (Giza), the renowned capital of the Old Kingdom and the site of the Pyramids. A journey through Cairo is a journey through the history of old and ancient civilization.
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great around 331 BC by. It was the capital of Egypt till AD 641 when a new capital Fustat was built which was Cairo later on. Currently, it is the second capital of Egypt after Cairo.
Alexandria is located in the northern part of Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the most important sea ports in Egypt. It is a main summer resort and tourist attraction due to its beaches, museums and ancient history.
Alexandria is Egypt’s largest seaport, Egypt’s largest industrial city, major center for international trade and the second largest city in Egypt (Cairo is the largest city in Egypt). Alexandria is home to famous new Alexandria Library ( Bibliotheca Alexandrina ), Pharohs Lighthouse of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa.
Alexandria museums are Alexandria Aquarium, The Alexandria National Museum, Graeco-Roman Museum, Royal Jewelry Museum, the museum of Fine Arts and the Cavafy museum.
Alexandria Palaces are Montaza Palace, in Montaza, Ras al-Tiin Palace, in Ras al-Tiin, Presidential Palace, in Maamoura and Palais d’Antoniadis, in Smoha.
Ancient Alexandria is the birth place of the modern world. Different great civilizations and cultures developed around Alexandria in different times. The ancient empires includes: Ancient Egyptians (c. 3000-1000 BC); Assyrians and Babylonians (c. 1000-500 BC); Persians (c. 550-330 BC); Greeks (c. 330-60 BC); and Romans (C. 60 BC – 140 AD).
Ptolemies founded the Museum or Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC and Alexandria University. during the Greek Era. Scientists arrived at scientific facts concerning the earth’s rotation around the sun and approximate circumference of the planet. The university was also famous for the study of medicine particularly anatomy and surgery. Most famous of the university scientists were the geometrician Euclides, the geographer Ptolemy and the Egyptian historian Maniton.
Alexandria library was the ancient world’s single greatest archive of knowledge. It has been estimated that at one time the large Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt and India.
The reasons of the loss of the library are not known. The great library was burned and much of ancient history, literature and learning was lost.
Sinai is a a triangular peninsula in Egypt and is the only part of Egypt located in Asia. The Sinai peninsula has historically been the center of conflict due to its location and history.
The Sinai peninsula is divided into 2 governorates North Sinai and South Sinai. The most popular tourist destination in Sinai are Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery.
Sinai climate is the coldest in Egypt because of its high altitudes and mountainous topographies.
The Suez Canal
The idea of the canal dates back to the ancient times during the role of Tuthmosis III, to link the Red sea to the Nile River to have the trade route along the river to India. The canal had 2 parts during the Persian King Darius I and Ptolemaic era, the Roman Empire and the Islamic conquest. The canal was abandoned upon the discovery of the trade route around Africa.
The French Engineers of Napoleon suggested to link the Mediterranean to the Red Sea around 1800 A.D. to have a shorter trade route to india. French Consul in Cairo and famous Canal digger Ferdinand de Lesseps. He was granted a decree by the khedive Said of Egypt to run the Canal for 99 years after completion.
The Suez Canal construction Project runs north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in Northeastern Egypt. lasts 7 years to be completed (1859 – 1867) in addition to a major highway linking the capital Cairo and new city of Ismailia. The Suez Canal was officially inaugurated by Khedive Ismail in 1869. Many Egyptians workers died during digging the canal due to bad working conditions. In 1956, Egypt seized the canal, which caused Britain, France and Israel to attack Egypt. The United Nations declared the Suez canal is an Egyptian property.
The Suez canal stopped in 1967 due to war with Israel. The canal was reopened in 1975. Today, There is no level difference therefore there is no locks and ships traffic is monitored by stations. The Suez canal handles %14 of world shipping.
Mohammad Ali is considered the founder of Modern Egypt. He sponsored scientists and artists to transfer modern science from Europe to Egypt. He built a ship yard in Alexandria, military academy, schools, dams, canals, barrages and factories.
Ismail followed the steps of Mohammed Ali to modernize Egypt. His main achievements were the railroads and the Suez Canal which was opened to international navigation in 1869. He focused on agriculture, industry, construction and architecture.
Egypt officially broke off from Ottoman empire in 1914 and turned to be a British Colony. Mostafa Kamel, Muhammad Fareed and Saad Zaghloul led the resistance and national movement against the British colonization leading the 1919 Revolution calling for independence. The British occupation of Egypt came to an end and the country was declared as an independent state in 1922. The first Egyptian Constitution was issued in 1923.